This was my first Joshilyn Jackson novel, so I went into it with no preconceived notions of what to expect. Just as well, because, although I enjoyed it, and I liked the writing style, there was something just a tad flat about it. Perhaps it was that the story was too scattered. Perhaps the characters weren't as well-developed as they could have been, and I did not warm to any of them. Perhaps because the ghosts didn't have as large a part as I'd have liked (although the bit about the foot was really something). One thing, the first half dragged for me. Not sure exactly when it changed, but about halfway through it became unputdownable (my own word).
At any rate, the descriptions of the Southern way of life was wonderful, especially of the Stepford-like neighborhood where Laurel lived. I have to say, in that, I agree with Thalia that it was a creepy place. I also found the relationships intriguing. All three of the marriages ~ the mother's and her two daughters' ~ seemed to work well for each of them, yet each was trying to change the others' to conform with her own idea of what a "proper" marriage should be. (Timely, that, with the gay-marriage controversy raging hot in the U.S.) I also found the juxtaposition of material wealth with poverty, not so much in terms of economics as of the spirit, quite compelling. Though what the girl did was horrible, I felt for her, understood the terrible needs that drove her to it. I thought the mother and the girl were very much alike ~ in escaping from their origins, they were willing to do unspeakable things, and, in the end, neither really escaped.
All in all, I'm glad I read it and am looking forward to reading her other novels.